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Monday, January 23, 2006

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JW: Perhaps, but Brian Peoples also raises an interesting point when he noted that:

"The likelihood of the Phillies getting only Arthur Rhodes in return for J-Mike has not been met with approval by the vast majority of posters at PhilliesPhans.com. Suffice it to say, if this one goes through, expect this web site to dramatically increase its hit count. To be fair, it wasn't reported right away that Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood were included in the Jim Thome for Aaron Rowand deal. The cantankerous donmoney writes that Gillick must add a player from this list in order for the deal to be considered a success. There have also been rumors that top Bosox catching prospect Kelly Shoppach may be included in the Crisp deal and that the catching-rich Indians would then turn him for Michaels."

http://www.nj.com/weblogs/phillies/

If we somehow get Shoppach then I would think it considerably changes the scope and view of the deal.

Yeah. My headline would then become "Phillies acquire Shoppach, relief pitcher, for Michaels"

those names in the thome deal weren't reported right away, but "two prospects" was reported from the get-go, i believe.

"Yeah. My headline would then become "Phillies acquire Shoppach, relief pitcher, for Michaels""


hahaha, so true.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2303134

There goes any hope Phils fans had of picking up Wade Miller - he'll be a Cub in '06. Guess a move like this would have made too much sense for the organizational braintrust to even consider.

Getting Rhodes for Michaels makes no sense in short- or long- term. Rhodes would only help a contender with bullpen issues.

Shoppach will probably be an average catcher at best but helps Phils fill a need in 2007. Hope Gillick realizes that and begins to clear up the mess that Wade left him.

Betancourt for Michaels would've been nice. Rhodes is a pretty solid LH reliever, but he's notoriously poor in big game situations and most likely has only a couple useful years left. A steal for the Indians.
Phillies now have the worst bench in the NL East except for Florida.

The only clear positive of getting Rhodes would be that it likely kicks Madson into the rotation.

Of course, a smart team would have done that anyway and realized that of Booker, Santana, Fultz, Tejeda, Brito, Yoel Hernandez, Aquilino Lopez, Minix, and others who will show up in Clearwater ready to fight for a job, you'll probably be able to cobble together a good bullpen for cheap. But with the Phils, we're often forced to hope that they do the smart thing (Madson starting) for a dumb reason (we've got a Proven Reliever--huzzah!). What's really depressing is that this might be as true of Gillick as it was of Wade.

In general, creativity is a great way to fill out a bullpen. Besides closer and setup man (contingent on this deal going through) the Phillies are kind of doing that, aren't they? But at the same time, the Phillies still needed a setup man to start the season. Period. Maybe one or two from the list you mentioned can shake into the back end of the bullpen by the end of the season, but there isn't a team in baseball that wants to test unknown pitchers in pressure spots early in the season. In April, they are still trying identify strengths and weaknesses and form a clear understand who can help them and who can't. Do you think Manuel will have a clear understanding how good Chris Booker or the others on your list will be in April? No chance.

This is a potential trade that would work for both teams. Michaels is a good player who doesn't really have a role on the Phils; they need what Cleveland has, i.e. an extra reliever. I guess I'm in the minority, but I'd prefer that it was Rhodes instead of the other options; he's been around a long time and is a solid set-up reliever. That Gillick has had him on two previous teams and still thinks highly of him should say something to those of us who've never watched him. I think you could do worse than Rhodes and Gordon in the late innings. Sure, it's a shame to lose a quality guy like Michaels, but he'd be pretty much wasted anyway unless somoeone got hurt. It's a proposal that makes a lot of sense to me.

I'm not particulalry excited about this deal if Rhodes is all the Phillies get. I would rather have a younger arm. But given that Rhodes has a 1-yr deal, I can live with it.

Let's look at this trade.

What are the Phillies giving up? Jason Michaels is a part-time player. In 5 years he has been unable to win a starting job, even when CF was open for several of those seasons, even when the LF was hurt, even when the LF was batting .200. His value in 2006 and beyond is marginal with the Phillies because the OF positions are locked. How many ABs will he get in 2006? He has proven productive in the past but only in a limited role. His value on the trade market is also limited. He has not shown he can be an everyday player, and he is not a prospect, so what would a team be willing to give up to acquire him?

Whether you like Rhodes or not, he will add more value to the Phillies in 2006 than Michaels will. He's a LH setup man for a team without a setup man. He will potentially allow Ryan Madson to start instead of relieve. And he had decent numbers last season, although it was shortened by injury and personal issues. He has only a 1-yr deal.

If it's straight Michaels-for-Rhodes I can live with it because the Phillies will be a better team in 2006. They will get more value out of Arthur Rhodes than they would have gotten from Jason Michaels. If Gillick can manage to have a prospect tossed in, he's made a great deal.


George: No one can argue with the assertion that Jason Michaels has failed to win a starting job in five years and thus is the odd man out among the outfield hopefuls for the coming season. The real issue here is that despite his "limitatios" he has sufficient value in the eyes of several other teams that they are willing to give up someone of value for him. But Arthur Rhodes should not be that someone. He would be just another veteran on the downside of his career brought in to temporarily fill a need. That kind of thinking has brought the Phillies to their current predicament. He would be another in a long line of useless veterans such as Worrell, Hernandez, or fill in the blanks. I notice, too, that you conclude your comment with the caveat that "if Gillick can manager to have a prospect tossed in...." Precisely the point many of us are making: Rhodes alone isn't enough of a return.

Not to get our hopes up, but if CLE is trying to get Shoppach from BOS, it only makes sense that they are trying to flip him for something else, as they already have a rising young star at catcher named Victor Martinez.

Kuff6,

Sorry to depress our hopes, but word from this comprehensive article at the plain dealer is they're holding on to shoppach if he gets dealt. Apparently he's not considered a deal breaker and boston are quibbling about throwing him in. What gets me down about the deal is that pat clearly wanted to take a risk on someone for micheals, but he gambled on the older guy with the good year, rather than the younger guy who's k/9 dropped off but otherwise had a solid relief year (although brian at Philling station mentioned his homeruns allowed spiked last year).

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/sports/1138095375222040.xml&coll=2&thispage=1

As I said at the start, I'm not excited by the deal as it now stands. I'm hoping the Phillies can get more. But I'm guessing that they cannot unless it's a throw-in just to balance salaries. Even so, in terms of 2006, the Phillies are a better team with Rhodes than with Michaels, mainly because of the makeup of the roster and the needs they have.
I don't agree that Rhodes is a 'useless veteran', at least not for 2006. That evaluation has to be based strictly on his age, because he has performed otherwise.
And I haven't yet seen any names of the 'someone of value' that other teams are willing to give up to get Michaels. I would have to think that Gillick would have grabbed one of them if they were better than Rhodes in terms of what they could bring to the team.
The Phillies DO need someone to temporarily fill a need (1 season), and Rhodes can do that. He is not intended to be a building block for the future. The Phillies are in fact competitive enough in the NL East to be in that 'fine tune' mode. If any of the Phillies young pitchers emerge, they will be a very tough team and will be capable of beating anybody. I really believe that. (And rather than assuming Gillick is writing off this year, he might also feel the same way: that a couple of minor moves this season might be enough if any of the prospects pan out) Next offseason you will probably see more fundamental longterm re-tooling, with FA money available and a better handle on the real value of the younger players. Rhodes won't be here and Michaels would not be part of that re-tooling even if he remained here.

As for now, if your choice is simply to start the year with either Michaels or Rhodes, the rest of the roster unchanged, which would you choose? My vote is Rhodes because he fills a need and Michaels doesn't.

On another subject, what kind of $$ is Weaver looking for? Just curious. Not because I think the Phillies should sign him, but because I would like to use his $$ as a yardstick to measure whether Ryan Franklin will end up a bargain or a bust. Don't assume he'll be a bust.

Love the opinions!

George, whilst I would agree if Rhodes was the only option, the Plain Dealer article does state that the Indians offered us Riske and we turned him down. From looking at the two guys stats, the gamble on Riske seemed more sensible since the indians were happy to lose either (they just ended up throwing riske into the boston deal).

The only way I see this working is this: As per Jason W's suggestion Pat wants to give manuel someone reliable to fit the set-up man role for the first half of the season whilst he figures out the aqualungs and brito's of this world and how the bullpen works without madson. We don't rely on him heavily past the july so keeping an injury prone guy down to maybe 50 or so innings. we're only paying a portion of the 3.7/3/6 that he's owed this year because the pirates are paying the rest. so it's a cheapish one-year hire and then he's gone.

Even after all that, don't you take the young guy who has done the 70+ innings no problem for the last three years? and if he continues to do okay, maybe offer him a longer contract on that basis?

Pat is going with what he knows and it frustrates because it's similar to wade. I know we have to keep saying he's not the same, but it gets harder to believe with every 'cheap hire' move.

I agree with George on all points. There's no chance the Phillies are approaching 2006 as a rebuilding season. They're still paying out something like $85 million to run out this team, which is capable of more than just treading water in the NL East.

I don't disagree with either of you. What concerns me is the tinkering that Gillick is doing in the bullpen seems awfully similar to the tinkering wade did (in personnel terms - granted we're not giving up draft picks or trading young arms for old). I don't like the fact he's gambling on age and familiarity with both franklin and rhodes.

(playing devils advocate against myself, you could argue that we're not short of younger folk right now, and we're plenty familiar with what they do.)

I base all of my assumptions on one huge one: Gillick has written off 2006. If so, and I am convinced he has, bringing in Rhodes for one stop-gap year makes little difference whereas dealing Michaels for a prospect for the future makes much more sense to me.

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